The first stage towards realisation of a unique and innovative new town in Scotland will be completed this week with the formal submission of detailed plans to South Lanarkshire Council.
An application for Planning Permission in Principle is being lodged today (Thursday 29th November 2012) for a community-owned town of 3200 affordable homes in the Douglas Valley near Lanark. It will then be considered by councillors with a decision expected sometime next year.
It is to be called Owenstown after the social reformer Robert Owen, who improved the lives and working conditions of mill workers at nearby New Lanark 200 years ago. It will be self-sufficient, eco-friendly and run on a co-operative basis by its residents.
Details of the new town, the first of its kind in the UK, were first revealed three years ago. Since then an exhaustive programme of public consultation and exhibitions has taken place along with briefings to MSPs, local councillors and community councils. Other bodies such as Co-operative Development Scotland and Social Enterprise Scotland have been brought into the project to provide specialist legal and technical assistance.
As a result some modifications have been made but the objectives of a not-for-profit, co-operative model and the commitment to providing local jobs, remains the same.
Since the idea of the town was first revealed, there has been widespread interest from potential residents and businesses from all round the UK and beyond.
The Hometown Foundation, a registered charity, which has been established to help build new self-sustainable communities and regenerate rundown areas, is behind the project.
Given the go-ahead, the town will be built on a 2000 acre site near the existing village of Rigside, eventually, in a ten year programme, providing homes for 8000 people and with its own commercial and industrial businesses, creating 6000 jobs during construction and more than 3000 permanent jobs.
Owenstown will be eco-friendly – recycling its waste to produce energy for the district heating system and it will have green transport throughout the site powered by renewable sources.
The Scotsman - www.scotsman.com/news/council-considers-bid-for-new-town-1-2665871
The Herald - www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/planning-milestone-for-owen-town-plan.19541838
BBC - www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-20528481
STV - m.local.stv.tv/glasgow/news/203203-council-mulling-new-co-operative-town-named-after-robert-owen/